“A career fair is another networking opportunity in a job search and people should always come prepared to put their best foot forward,” said Tami Legler, who will represent Accountemps and the OfficeTeam at the Career Fair.
“If dress is important in their profession, then it’s important to look the part.”
“People should always assume that there is a chance they might interview,” added Kay Cadero, of the Volt Services Group. “And they should dress and act accordingly.
“They should dress in business attire, or business casual - that’s acceptable. This is a first-impression issue: If an employer takes several resumes and you’re the one who comes by in jeans and a t-shirt, you may not hear back. But if you’re the one in a suit and polished shoes, you may have a better chance.”
Darlene Ferguson, an employment specialist at the Sallie Mae Servicing Corp., emphasized that neatness and cleanliness are more important that an expensive wardrobe.
“Everyone is welcome, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think they shouldn’t come because they don’t have exactly the right kind of clothes. I don’t think they have to wear a tie, but they should be looking neat and clean. Casual business attire is fine; a nice, casual dress would be helpful.”
Everyone agrees that having preparation is key, no matter how the candidate is dressed..
“They should have several resumes in hand,” Cadero said. “They should come prepared to speak confidently about themselves, and they should make sure they have enough time that they can stop and speak with someone if asked.”
Ferguson suggested that candidates should prepare themselves by getting familiar with a few target companies.
“It would definitely be helpful if they know there are companies at the career fair that they would like to know more about; they should think ahead about questions to ask.”
Legler said her companies will be prepared to talk specifics with job-seekers.
“We will be setting up appointments to interview, so they should have a resume to talk about. They should be ready to go over their background, to discuss their work history and their education.”
The employers agreed that a firm handshake and good eye contact also send the right signals. Here, as in all of life, the right attitude can make the difference.